Bet Selection Tips – page 2

Bet Selection Tips - page 2

Check the odds on offer

Unless you know the teams and leagues you are selecting from very well, look for odds of between 1.2 and 2.0 when studying your chosen bookmaker’s fixture list.

Odds narrower than 1.2 on a small stake will make very little profit and is usually not worth the extra risk for so little gain. For example, you would have to win five 1.2 bets for every one you lose just to break even. You would need ten winning bets at 1.1 to achieve the same. Winning more than five short-odds bets in a row is achievable, but more than ten is not going to happen very often. Anyway, 1.2 is the minimum we will bet at. Most bets are going to be more than this. It will often take perhaps just three, or even two wins to one loss to break even.

Selections with odds under 1.2 are only worth considering later on in the strategy when there is enough in the pot to place very large stakes on your bets, or at any stage of the strategy when you can boost the odds somewhat with a viable and winnable Combination Bet.

Odds greater than 2.0 begin to exponentially increase the risk factor of failure as the odds get wider. So exercise caution when straying into this area. Only consider odds of over 2.0 if you know the teams well and know their current form well.

When you become familiar with your leagues and have in-depth knowledge of the teams that play in them, you can study the actual matches and predict a result also with your knowledge rather than solely by studying the odds offered. This way it is often possible to find viable selections at better than even money, sometimes much more so, almost as if the bookmaker has made a mistake. I have found winning single bets up to 6.0 this way. Such opportunities are rare, so you need to be looking out for them.

Check League Positions

When you have found some fixtures, either through your own knowledge or those that fulfill the 1.2 to 2.0 odds guideline, look for matches where there are many league places between the teams. That is the top of the table, or near the top of the table team against the bottom of the table, or near the bottom of the table team.

This guideline applies more to leagues such as the Scottish Premier where there are only two dominant clubs, rather than more competitive leagues, such as the English Premier, where any team can beat any other team on their day. The latter case is where you can sometimes find the 6.0 bets, by the way.

In either case, there are times when the lower-ranked side can pull off an upset by defeating the higher-ranked side. This is a scenario that favours the bookies as it is payday for them when the favourite to win loses. This is why further research is needed before making a final decision on bet selection.

Check current form 

Just because a team from the top of a league is playing a team from the bottom of the same league, it’s not a foregone conclusion that the top team is going to win. If it was that easy, you wouldn’t need advice from people like me.

If the top team has had a few bad results recently, it may affect their confidence and leave them open to a defeat by the lower team.

Similarly, if the lower team has had a good run recently, it may boost their confidence and drive them to a surprise victory against the higher-ranked side.

There are several free websites available that display the current form of football teams worldwide alongside daily fixture lists and “live standings” league tables. These websites also provide live scores as they happen for all but the most minor leagues. Most will allow you to set favourite teams and matches so that you can receive immediate notifications of any developments. 

My fixture and form website of choice is but there are several other excellent ones to choose from. These include SofaScore, LiveScore, and Soccer24

When using these sites to research current form, look for mostly all, if not all “W”s  won alongside the team you are considering betting on. Similarly, look for mostly all, if not all “L”s for lost alongside the team you are considering betting against. Generally, for a fixture to pass through to the next stage of the selection process, it is best if it fulfills both of these conditions.